Parents of school-aged kids who missed seeing last week’s Camp Guide in the Out & About will be well advised to retrieve it online. We often ask ourselves how it is that we are blessed with an abundance of theater, music, art and even dance. A big part of the answer lies in the number of summer programs that are available in Middle Georgia. The seeds that are planted in summer build audiences and grow over time into our rich artistic community.
As the father of four, I can tell you that as the youngsters enter their teens the options diminish, but not because programs are not needed. It is fortunate that many of the camps offer scholarships, since these summer experiences do so much to shape students’ future interests.
The Mentors Project Academic Summer Program is free, but as the name says, its focus is academics. Members of my family, especially the shy ones, have had excellent experiences with the Macon Little Theatre Kids Camp (which goes up to age 18). One that we are looking at this summer is the Otis Music Camp (through age 17), but it’s not inexpensive. A new camp (not even in Camp Guide) is run by the 567 Center for Renewal at its new home. The bad news is that the cut-off is age 12.
These summer experiences — be they academic, artistic or athletic — can play a huge role in child development. I wonder why area school superintendents (listen up, Curtis Jones) don’t embrace this proven success strategy.
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As the end of the academic year rushes toward us and seasons start to close, don’t be surprised when you feel overwhelmed.
Just look: Theatre Macon’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” continues this weekend (through April 23) with a cast that includes Jim Crisp himself. Meanwhile, the Perry Players will be opening Neil Simon’s “Plaza Suite” next weekend. Also coming up in Forsyth is the Backlot Players’ celebration of the current season and a look at what’s to come. Wesleyan College will be presenting four original plays April 27-29, while in Warner Robins, veteran director Fred Hardin will bring us “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
For music lovers, there’s a flood of concerts coming at the end of the month, especially at Mercer University and Wesleyan College. Mercer’s orchestra is set to perform April 28, while the Macon Symphony Orchestra will close its season the following night.
Things also are booming at the Douglass Theatre, where Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin” will be on the screen April 22, followed by the National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.” In the midst of this comes nine days of pottery at Fired Works. Can you believe it?
Contact Larry Fennelly at LarryFennelly@avantguild.com.